Cauliflower, potatoes, peas Curry/ subji

Quick and Easy vegan Cauliflower, potatoes Curry/Subji

This  Indian traditional  recipe is full of fiber and infused with cumin, turmeric and chili flavors.

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cup washed and cut cauliflower florets small
  • 1 cup washed and cut potatoes cubes
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas thawed
  • 1/2 cup washed and cut tomatoes
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala optional
  • 2 pc cinnamon sticks optional
  • 2-3 cloves optional
  • cilantro to garnish
cauliflower,peas and potatoes in a wok
  • How to prepare
    1. In a microwave boil cut cubed potatoes for 2-3 minutes with little water. Set aside.
    2. In a wok on medium heat  add oil.  Add cinnamon sticks,cloves, mustard  and cumin seeds.
    3. Once it sizzles add cauliflower and stir.
    4. Drain water, add potatoes, peas and stir gently upside down.
    5. Add salt, turmeric, chili flakes , coriander and cumin powder.  If you prefer more heat sprinkle garam masala sparingly. Stir  gently making sure spice and vegetables blends evenly.  Cover and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.
    6. Add tomatoes or fold in tomatoes,
    7. Add cut tomatoes stir and cover. Let it simmer for 3-4 minutes.
    8. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with rice various dals or rotis.

Enjoy the flavor! How did you like the dish let me know in your comments!

Keeping a Clean and Organized Refrigrator/Freezer At Home

Clean and organized refrigrator is fresh and healthy and makes you a better homemaker and will be very inspiring to make you a better and prepared chef. Try these pointers to make you a pro in kitchen!
messy refrigrator
A clean and organized refrigerator is fresh, inviting and very functional.  It is the starting point for new recipes and new chefs.

Dangers of a messy fridge

A refrigerator/freezer is meant to keep food fresh, safe and tasty.  But the danger of improper food storage is very high.  Did you know refrigerator/freezer is the biggest breeding ground of bacteria in your house?  Food-borne illness and food poisoning is the result of improper storage.  So a good rule of thumb is to do a quick clean of the refrigerator once a week, and a more detailed cleaning once in a month.

Keeping food for too long

We live in a time of convenience.  The refrigerator/freezer is definitely there for our convenience, but we begin to sacrifice  the integrity and nutritional value of food by storing it in the refrigerator for too long.  This is true of both raw and cooked food.  In most houses, the refrigerator/freezer gets over crowded by plastic containers filled with home cooked meals, frozen veggies and ready made meals. Dressing, sauces of different kinds, and lot of containers of leftovers are kept in the hope that we will use it some day. And when we finally do, we end up in feeding ourselves with not-so-fresh meals.

So what can we do to be better?  The MOTTO of the refrigerator should be:

  • If you are in doubt, toss the item.  Chances are you will never use it.
  • Before going grocery shopping, check at a glance that you are not buying an item you already have.
  • It is a good idea to allot five to ten minutes of your time to glance through your fridge once a week to toss out moldy or expired items.
  • Try going grocery shopping one day later than planned – you’ll find that you end up using up a lot of stuff you have in the house and waste less.
  • Keep a marker handy so that you can date all home-cooked meals that you store in the freezer!  The general rule of thumb is to try to use frozen meals within one month, otherwise it lose its taste.
  • Anything in the freezer that has formed ice crystals means it’s not fresh. Toss it out. NO good.

How to clean your refrigerator/freezer

  • Make a solution of lemon juice or baking soda diluted with water to wipe down all shelves and drawers.
  • To prevent foul smells, first clean out the refrigerator, make sure onion and garlic is covered completely. Take out some coffee granules out in a shallow container and place it on each shelf.  Baking soda also works as well.

Peppermint Bark

 

Peppermint bark is fun and easy to make it at home with the fraction of coast.

It gives a refreshing flavor of mint, not to heavy sugary taste and almond gives a healthy attribute to this home made candy.

Ingredients:

  • 6 candy canes
  • 2 special dark Hershey’s chocolate
  • 1/2 cup silvered almonds or Pistachio

How to Make:

1. Melt the chocolate in microwave oven for 30 seconds. Stir.

2. Repeat the steps if choclate is not melted.

3. Crush all the  candycanes.

4. Add few almonds and crushed powder of candycanes in melted choclate.

5. Layer it thin on wax paper.

6. Garnish choclate with pieces of candycanes and silvered almonds.

7. Let it cool. Brake it into pieces. Store in a clear container.

Enjoy!

 

Healthy Vegan Puda/Pancakes

Healthy Vegan Pancake

Healthy Vegan Pancake

Vegan Vegetable Pancake

This recipe is a quick fix for my lunch and daily portion of protein.

Recently  I joined a leaf pogramme  in our community. I was very impressed with volunteers and their effort to help  other people  to live healthy lifestyle by watching their food habits. They highly recommend vegan recipes.

Hence I was motivated to come up with my  vegan version of Beans- dals pancake which is fulfilling, refreshing and tasty.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 1/2 cup moong dal
  • 1/2 cup lentils
  • 1/2 cup channa dal or besan
  • 1/2 cup matepa split beans
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 small tomato
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small ginger
  • 1 small chili pepper
  • 1 cup frozen spinach/kale
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 3 tbsp oil to make crispy

How to make vegetable pancake

1. Wash generously rice, moomg dal, lentils, channa dal, matepa split beans. Check for  stones in dals. Soak almost 4 hours in warm water in a deep bowl.

2. Grind  coarse all the soaked dals and spinach, onion,  chili pepper, garlic, ginger and tomatos. Add salt, turmeric. Set aside. The consistency of the batter should be like pancake batter.

vegetable pancake batter

3. Drizzle a tea spoon of the oil into a medium size non stick skillet heat over a m medium heat. Halfway through almost after 45 seconds, pour in about a ladleful  of batterand quickly spread it evenly so it is

about 6 inches in diameter. caution should be taken not to over heat skillet.

puda on skillet

4. Let the pancake to cook for 2-3 minutes till it turns into opaque and loses it glossy looks. Turn the pancake over and cook the second side till it turns into golden brown color mostly about a minute.

5. Repeat steps 3-4 to make more pancakes. Serve warm with sweet and spicy sauces. Puda tastes great with cilantro and tamarin chutney.

Tips:

  •   Most popular item is besan /chick pea flour  puda with onion and tomatoes and chilis. Just whisk flour add seasoning and spices and batter is ready.
  • Times to time for variation i add shredded cabbage ,carrots, zucchini or any other vegetable that you like.
  • Bob’s Red Mill makes a chickpea flour that is readily available in super markets which saves hassle to soak dals.
  • If you do not use all the batter ,you can refrigerate it up to three days.
  • If you have made all the pancakes you can re heat  them, wrapped in slightly damp paper towels, in a microwave for 30 seconds.

 

Cabbage/Carrot Puda

Cabbage/Carrot Puda

Chickpea Flour Puda

Chickpea Flour Puda

 

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How To Make Soy Yogurt

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Organic Soy Yogurt

 

Home Made Soy Yogurt

My friend Debbie is a huge believer in plant-based foods. Being Vegan she was missing probiotic in her food.  When she found out about my blog she requested me to make Pure soy yogurt at home. Super markets have all flavored  and added sugar soy yogurt. So this seems very interesting to get hands on How to make soy Yogurt. 

What You Need

2 cup  Organic unsweetened soy milk

1 count store bought organic soy yogurt plain( Whole Soy & Co)

1 Heavy pot or glass microwave container

whisk

 

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Three Easy Steps to Make yogurt:

1. Boil the milk either on stove or in a microwave.

2. Let it cool down almost to the point that you can hold your finger in the milk counting twenty.

3. Add two heaping spoon of soy yogurt to boiled milk.  Whisk evenly so yogurt  mixes properly. Pour in individual jar with tight lid.

4. Let it sit undisturbed in regular oven with lights on for six to eight hours.

5. Once it sets refrigerate for at least for few hours to make it firm.

Enjoy with fresh fruit.

How To Make Lemon Pickle

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One of the popular achar/pickle is lemon pickle. It had been popular for a long time.

I have seen my mom making all various achars/pickles and enjoyed it full heartedly when I was young. Recently I learned that lemons are highly alkaline and it is

good for digestion. My tantalizing taste buds prompt me to try hands on. The traditional flavor is back in a new form.

To make it healthy i reduced the salt, sugar and oil . I am sure you will love it too.

Ingredients:

  • 5 lemon cut into cubes
  • 5 lemon squeeze into juice
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin & fenugreek seeds roasted and crushed
  • 1 tsp sugar or more to taste
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric

For Tampering:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • Pinch of astofedia

How to make:

1. Cut the lemons into cubes. Set aside.Cut Lemons

 

2. Store cut lemons add salt and turmeric, shake it properly  so it is coated with salt evenly.

store in a jar

store in a jar

 

 

3. Store and stir everyday evenly so lemon pieces starts to get soften and tender to touch. Repeat this step for fifteen days.

4. Take lemon pieces out in a bowl , add spices, add sugar and tamper with oil. Mix it properly and store in a clean air tight container.

Lemon pickle is ready to serve with your meals. Great news about lemon pickle is that as it ages it is more tasty. Enjoy!

Lemon pickle/achar

Lemon pickle/achar

How To Make Traditional Sweet Boondi

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Sweet Boondi

Traditional  Sweet Dish Boondi

Boondi  has a special imprint on each of  us, specially the immigrants from  India. This dessert is present in all the famous celebrations.

For me it reminds me of our pilgrimage site Palitana, India. After a three hour of hike on a mountain (we are not suppose to eat while on hike) when we come back we were served  warm Boondi and Sev (crispy noodles ).  No need to say that was  Amazingly tasty treat!  Here Today I am going to try to replicate that authentic taste. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe Jaya! 

Palitana Mountain

Palitana Mountain

Step by step guide to Make Boondi : Serves 6

Vegan, Gluten free, Jain

Ingredients

  • 2 cup besan /chick pea flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cup vegetable shortening or ghee for frying
  • 1/2 cup cashews or slivered almond
  • 1/2 cup raisins

For syrup

  • 2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • yellow food color optional
  • Few strands of saffron
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder

Utensils needed

  • Perforated sieve
  • Deep spoon
  • Frying Pan
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Ingredients for Boondi

For Boondi deep spoon and perforated sieve is needed.

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Sieve and deep spoon

How to Make Boondi

1. Combine besan/chick pea flour and water as needed in a bowl. Beat for two to three minutes till  the batter becomes light and smooth.

2. Heat ghee or vegetable shortening in a deep frying pan. Hold a sieve four inch above the oil. Pour with deep spoon batter into the strainer. The batter will fall into the oil in the form of fine drops of boondi. Fry for one minutes till boondi turns golden brown. Repeat the steps with remaining batter.

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Frying boondi

3. In a pan add sugar , water, few strands of saffron, cardamon powder and cashews, raisins.

4. Cook for five minutes till sugar dissolves  and becomes thick syrup.

5. Add boondi in the pan and keep stirring till cools down.

6. Garnish and serve. YUM!

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Sweet Boondi

Bonus Tips:

  • For variations green and red color can be added to batter. The pearls of boondi will  be more decorative and presentable.
  • For salty variations instead of syrup salt, red chili powder can be sprinkled. Instead of cashews roasted spanish peanuts can be used.

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How did this recipe turn out for you – I’d love to know in the comments section below.

Natural Mosquito Repllent

lime_clove_mosquito_repellent

I recently came across a post about making your own mosquito repellent and I thought it was great!  I don’t like to use too many chemicals or electric lights that kill bugs, so this was a great alternative.  Hope you and enjoy and let me know how it works for you in the comments!

Here’s the original post:

Living Off The Grid – Mosquito Repellent 

At your next outdoor gathering try this SAFE and EFFECTIVE method of keeping mosquitos at bay!  Simply slice a lime in half and press in a good amount of cloves for an ALL NATURAL mosquito repellent.  Make sure to share this with your friends!

How to Use Turmeric to cure your cough, add flavor to your meal, and add glow to your skin!

My love for Turmeric

I grew up in India watching my mom use Turmeric for all sorts of uses. However, I don’t see it being widely used here in the US. It is a wonderful super plant that can be used as a spice and medicine. I want share not only how to use it but also where to get it.

This is what Turmeric Plant looks like in the store

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Health benefits of Turmeric

Regular use of  turmeric in a micro amount (like 1/4 of a tsp) is beneficial. Its yellow color which is full of antioxidant properties. Here are the list of benefits:

  • Ward off Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Blood Purifier
  • Skin Cleanser
  • Cough Suppressant

and… much much more.

How to Use Turmeric to Cure Your Cough

  1. Add 1/4 tsp of powder turmeric in a half cup of  warm milk
  2. Touch of salt
  3. 1 tsp of ghee.
  4. Take every night till cough is gone before bedtime (should be gone in 3-5 days)

How to Use Turmeric as a Face Mask

  1. Mix ground turmeric with besan/chick pea flour
  2. Add heavy cream in equal portions
  3. Apply to face
  4. Wash off after 15 minutes

You will get an instant glow to your skin! Brides have been using this for years in India… even widely used today!

How to Use Turmeric as a Spice

Here is a picture of powder Turmeric:

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You can use Turmeric Powder in various curries of dry legumes, beans, and different vegetables. The powder of turmeric is derived after the stem is boiled, drained, dried in the sun, cleaned, polished and then pounded into powder.

You can also enjoy Turmeric as a condiment with your meals

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Pickled Amba Haldi

Fresh roots are available in health and specialty stores. wash them and cut them into thin pieces. Amba haldi is in its white form. It is similar to ginger root.

Add lemon juice to it. Enjoy with meals in small amount.  This lemony turmeric stays in refrigerator for 6 months.

Spice Mix For Flavorful Tea

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Call me foodie or health nut my sunday morning starts with reading an article by Mark Bittman. Yes I am a huge fan of his writing about recipes. I applaud his formidable approach to different cuisine from beet salad to different kind of curries  of Indian style. Recently I came across his article about spices in New York Times article. I enjoyed those spice mix so I thought to give an idea of my tea spice mix. A cup of Tea in the morning is healthy for you.  Here is a quick cheat sheet to How To Blend perfect Spices or as you may say Masala for refreshing cup of Tea.

Chai  is the drink offered everywhere in India. No doubt it is a little bit habit-forming, but it is great way to start the day. It has antioxidant proprieties and gives relief from the common cold and allergies. Different varieties of this tea are available and the recipe below is more for black tea. I like Tetley Tea bags which are good to use and commonly available in grocery store near you. You can also find many different kinds of tea leaves in  stores. Fresh ginger and Lemon grass and/or fresh mint can give a very nice flavor and punch to the taste. This recipe will also work with soy milk.
Preparation Time: 10 Minutes

Serves: Ingredients:

1 Cup Milk
1 Cup Water
1 Pinch Tea Masala
2 Tea Bags
2 Tsp Sugar

 Directions:

  1. Mix all of the ingredients.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Let simmer for a few seconds.
  4. Chai is ready and tastes great with biscuits!
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Tips For Spice Blend:

1 cup dry ginger powder or sooth

1 cup black pepper

1 cup cardamom pods

1/2 cup cloves

1/2 cup cinnamon

1 Tsp nutmeg optional

Few strands of saffron

  • Tea Masala is a mix of  all the above spice together. If you want little mild spiced go easy on cloves and black pepper. Coffee/spice  grinder can be used to blend spices.
  • If you mix ingredients together you can store the mixture in a jar and use as needed.
Nutrition Facts are for 1/2 Serving.
Health Benefits of Chai Tea:
From Chai.com
Tea Leaf
Tea Leaves (Camellia sinensis)

Tea is full of healthy substances, including antioxidants, that may help prevent everything from heart disease to strokes to cancer.

Ginger Chai
Ginger (Zingiberaceae)

Ginger root is believed to strengthen and heal the digestive and respiratory system, as well as to fight off colds/flu. Removes congestion, soothes sore throats, and relieves body aches. Recent studies have shown it to be effective in preventing motion sickness as well.

Cinnamon Chai
Cinnamon (Cinnamonum Zeylanicum)

This herb is a stimulant to other herbs enabling them to work faster.

Pepper
Pepper (Piper nigrum)

Imparts an underlying warmth to the body

Cardamom
Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)

Stimulates the mind and gives clarity

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below! I love to hear from my readers!
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